Hot on the heels of our recent success in the Beauty Shortlist awards, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve gone all the way in the Biteable Beauty Awards! Our gorgeous Siam Roots Skin Conditioner with Lemongrass & Ginger recently WON the best body oil category – and we couldn’t be happier!
— rebecca goodyear (@biteablebeauty) March 21, 2016
Biteable Beauty is an award-winning blog dedicated to natural and organic products across the beauty, health and lifestyle sectors. It is run by Rebecca Goodyear, who also owns a boutique PR agency specialising in natural products. Well respected as an industry expert and thought leader, she has featured in the Who’s Who of Natural Beauty list for the past four years. She certainly knows her stuff and her opinions really count.
Here’s a victory photo of the winning product:
Siam Roots skin conditioner blends four organic oils – jojoba, sweet almond, grape seed and sesame – with the typically Thai scents of lemongrass, ginger and plai to create a deeply hydrating skin oil with a fresh, uplifting scent. 98% of the total ingredients are organic, and the product has been certified by COSMOS.
Other winning brands include Bodhi & Birch, JĀSÖN and Green People, so we are in excellent company and are very proud that our small indie brand is getting the recognition it deserves in the UK!
Click here to buy our award-winning Siam Roots skin conditioner, which retails at ฿720 for 90g.
Although well established in Thailand and southeast Asia, the Siam Botanicals brand is relatively new to the UK and the EU, where the natural skincare industry is growing rapidly. A few months ago, we decided to put our head above the parapet by entering a couple of our top-selling products into the Beauty Shortlist Awards. The Beauty Shortlist is one of the UK’s top beauty blogs, so it was a good opportunity for us to increase awareness of our products and reach more potential customers who are interested in natural and organic skincare.
All the winners were announced last week – see the full list here – and we were thrilled to discover that our Gentlemen of Siam Shave Oil had been made a finalist in the ‘Best Shaving Product’ category!
We’re giving ourselves a little pat on the back – and we might even pour ourselves a nice glass of something fizzy!
OK, so we didn’t win an actual gong – this time – but for a newcomer entering awards in the UK for the first time, it’s a real achievement to make the shortlist, especially when other entrants include such mega brands as Liz Earle (owned by Walgreens Boots Alliance), REN (owned by Unilever), Neal’s Yard (founded in 1981) and Weleda (which is represented in over 50 countries).
We’re keen to build on this important breakthrough – and we have some exciting plans in the pipeline, which include another foray into the world of awards and an industry event. Watch this space for details…!
Click here to buy our organic lemongrass & tea tree shave oil, which has been certified by COSMOS and retails at ฿590 for 24g (up to 100 shaves).
Did you know that our new Siam Botanicals flagship store recently opened its doors? It’s located in the Charoen Krung area of Bangkok, by the Chao Phraya river.
About Charoen Krung Road
Charoen Krung Road (Thanon Charoen Krung) translates as ‘Road of the Prosperous City’ and is thought to have been the city’s first ‘proper’ road. To travel along its 8.5km length is to get a snapshot of many of the historical and cultural influences that make Bangkok such an interesting and eclectic city.
About the flagship store
Our flagship store is in the OP Garden complex, which is located near several five-star hotels including the Mandarin Oriental. It is spacious and light, with ceiling-height windows on three sides that look out onto leafy gardens.
The full range of Siam Botanicals 100% natural skincare and haircare products is on display, and there’s also a facial treatment room – why not book yourself in for our signature four-step organic facial?
Our friendly, knowledgeable staff are always on hand to answer any questions you might have about our products, ingredients, production process and our 100% natural ethos.
About the area
Our neighbours in the complex include art galleries and high-end boutique shops selling antiques, home décor products, jewellery and more. In the middle of the complex is a relaxing outdoor courtyard with a bar and a Mango Tree restaurant serving modern Thai cuisine.
In next-door OP Place, a beautifully restored colonial mansion, there are more independent shops and galleries. It’s particularly well known for antiques, but you’ll also find carpets, hand-woven Thai silk, leather goods, jewellery and a host of other handmade items.
If you have time for a little sightseeing, pop into the charming but little-known Bangkokian Museum – it’s free to enter. Set in beautiful gardens, it consists mainly of two wooden houses that have been preserved exactly as they were when they were built in the early 20th century. Also worth a visit is the Assumption Cathedral, Thailand’s principal Roman Catholic Church; its Romanesque red-brick exterior and French colonial influences make it an unusual sight in Bangkok.
For more information about our flagship store and the surrounding area, click here. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Del is a self-proclaimed ‘ingredient scrutiniser’ with a passion for natural and organic skincare, so he certainly knows his stuff. He is a respected skincare blogger and his reviews are always very thoroughly researched, so we were very keen to hear his feedback.
As expected, his first port of call was the ingredients list. He quickly noted that there was ‘not a synthetic additive in sight. No artificial perfume, colourings or preservatives. 97% of the total ingredients are certified organic.’
Satisfied that the ingredients met his high standards he gave the shave oil a try, even going so far as to shave his head with it! The great thing about this oil is that it is very versatile, as Del discovered when he ‘went a bit rogue’:
‘With an ingredient list this good, it would have been a sin just to use it as a shave oil. So, I tried it as a beard and face oil and it is amazing! As a beard oil, the combination of ingredients meant I only required a couple of drops, brushed into my beard, to give it a healthy, glossy, soft look and feel. I also used a couple of drops at night as a face oil and my face was left feeling smooth, hydrated and calm.’
What man wouldn’t appreciate a multi-tasking product like this?!
‘I really like the philosophy of Siam Botanicals. They do not use ANY synthetic ingredients, are cruelty free, committed to responsible sources and where possible, use local providers. So if you’re already a fan of using shave oils, you should certainly add this one to your try list. A highly practical, multi-tasking oil, packed full of skin benefiting ingredients. Fully Del Brown Approved!
With the organic and natural skincare market becoming ever more competitive, consumers are quite rightly becoming more and more discerning about the products they use and the ingredients they put onto their skin. One way to stand out in a crowded market is to go through the lengthy process of receiving certification from an official body.
In a world of greenwashing, where terms such as ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ are bandied about all too freely with little or no substance behind them, a recognised ‘stamp of approval’ such as the COSMOS-standard certification gives customers confidence that a company really is sticking to the ethos it claims to espouse, and that the ingredients it uses really can be trusted.
This is the road that Siam Botanicals started down last year – and finally, in April of this year, our products were approved! [**Pops cork**]
We were, in fact, one of the first companies to be awarded the COSMOS certification under the new, more stringent guidelines introduced in February. Our products were assessed and approved by BDIH, the German non-profit association, but the COSMOS-standard label is a Europe-wide standard that was developed by not only BDIH but also Cosmebio (France), Ecocert (France), ICEA (Italy) and Soil Association (UK). The certification can be approved by any of these organisations.
What does the COSMOS-standard certification mean?
Maybe you’re imagining that we simply send our ingredients lists off for analysis, wait for a bit and then receive our certification in the post. Well, you’d be very much mistaken! Reassuringly for consumers, it’s a LOT more comprehensive than this – and we chose COSMOS precisely because it is (in our view) the strictest and most rigorous of all the certifications out there.
When you see a product that has been COSMOS-certified, it means that every aspect of that company’s production process has been put under scrutiny during an audit that can last several days. It means that:
•the manufacturing facility has been inspected
•there has been a full audit of ingredients, including their origin and how they were processed
•the company has demonstrated that its production methods are ecologically sound – this includes providing an environmental management plan that addresses the whole manufacturing process
•its product formulas, labels and packaging have been approved
•any non-organic ingredients have been used because no organic equivalents were available
•all ingredients are GM-free (non-organic ingredients can only be used if the supplier has submitted a declaration that they are non-GM)
There are two certifications available – COSMOS Organic and COSMOS Natural. To achieve either option, the full audit must be carried out successfully on each product.
To receive the COSMOS Organic label, at least 95% of the agro-ingredients must be organic.
Products that pass the audit but do not contain at least 95% agro-organic ingredients are eligible for the COSMOS Natural certification. COSMOS Natural products may of course contain some organic ingredients (as ours do), but at a lower percentage than those with the Organic certification. For these products, the percentage of natural origin ingredients must be indicated on the label – except where the products are 100% natural origin.
We are proud to say that ALL Siam Botanicals products are 100% natural origin. We do not use any synthetic chemicals, nor do we use ‘nature identical’ ingredients. We strive to find the best, most ethical providers and have chosen organic ingredients wherever possible.
The full list of Siam Botanicals products that are COSMOS-standard approved is listed below. You can buy these products safe in the knowledge that we take our responsibilities and promises incredibly seriously – and we have the stamp to prove it!
Gentlemen of Siam After Shave Toner
Did you know we now have a men’s range of products called Gentlemen of Siam? They would make a great gift for that hard-to-buy-for man in your life. And in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and many other countries, Father’s Day is fast approaching – it’s on 21st June, so you still have time to place an order! If you are looking for something a little different to gift your dad or husband check out this website WoodPursuits.com.
First up, the pre-shave face wash:
Let’s face it, not many men find the time to give their face a really good cleanse, so this gentle face wash is ideal. A squirt or two massaged into the face while they’re in the shower will remove dirt and excess oil, preparing the skin for shaving (or simply for the application of a moisturiser or face serum).
Next, our Lemongrass and Tea Tree shave oil:
This 100% natural blend provides superior glide for a close, smooth and satisfying shave, while seven organic seed oils hydrate, protect and nourish the skin. The naturally antiseptic and antibacterial properties of tea tree and lemongrass take care of nicks and cuts – but being able to see where you’re shaving (instead of having a faceful of foam) also minimises such accidents.
It also carries the new COSMOS Organic certification:
And has appeared in British GQ magazine:
If you haven’t tried a shave oil before, give it a go. We’ve already received some rave reviews! You only need a few drops each time, so this 24g bottle will last for around 100 shaves. It’s also a great moisturiser or aftershave oil, so it’s an excellent all-rounder for men who don’t like to fuss and faff with lots of bottles, pots and tubes!
If he does prefer a separate aftershave product, our balm fits the bill:
Rubbing a little of this lightly scented balm into the face post-shave will soothe the skin and leave it feeling hydrated and nourished.
Have you tried a product from our Gentlemen of Siam range? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
April saw Siam Botanicals exhibiting at another show, this time in London. The event, which is called Natural & Organic Products (it also takes place in Hong Kong in August and in Sweden in November), not only showcases a host of big brands and start-up beauty companies but also Fairtrade/sustainable/organic food and drink products, and natural healthcare and household products. There were about 600 exhibitors and thousands of trade-only visitors.
Tamar, the owner of Siam Botanicals, flew over from Thailand and I joined her to man (or should I say woman?) the stand. I think you’ll agree that it looked rather lovely. People were definitely drawn to the lush Thai backdrop – a moment of escapism!
It was interesting to see what appealed to European buyers – they were particularly attracted to the more unusual or typically Asian ingredients such as rice bran oil, guava oil and moringa oil, and those scents that are commonly associated with Thailand – lemongrass, ginger and plai (all of which feature in our signature Siam Roots range of products). Visitors liked to be able to smell the pure oils – especially our guava oil, which was new to everyone we spoke to and was universally liked for its wonderful fruity smell.
Of course, people were very interested in the fact that our products have now received the COSMOS-standard stamp of approval from BDIH and are now proudly wearing their COSMOS Natural and COSMOS Organic badges! More on this in a separate post…
We enjoyed introducing our products to the UK market and made some interesting contacts, which we will be growing and nurturing over the coming months! The event also allowed us to meet in person several people we’ve been following on Facebook and Twitter for some time, including natural beauty and eczema/allergy blogger Sugarpuffish, Alex from Skins Matter (a great resource for resource for natural beauty and ‘free from’ skincare), and Lynda, otherwise known as Wonderlusting, who writes a great blog about ‘products and places that inspire wonder and lust’ – well worth a read!
We were also pleased to catch a seminar about the latest trends in innovative beauty ingredients by Rebecca Goodyear, another Twitter friend. And we were very encouraged to see that a talk on ‘How Asian skincare trends are taking off in Europe’ gathered a good crowd. As far as we could see, we were the only Asian skincare company at the show (correct me if I’m wrong), so we feel confident that there’s still a gap in the UK market for our 100% natural Thai brand.
Were you at the show? Did you visit our stand? Let us know your thoughts!
Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna, the leading international exhibition for cosmetics and beauty, was held on 20-23 March at BolognaFiere, a huge exhibition centre in the north of the beautiful Italian city of Bologna.
Siam Botanicals was there, with a stand in the Thai ‘Country Pavilion’. We always like to stand out in a crowd (and there was certainly a big crowd at Cosmoprof, with nearly 2,500 exhibitors and 248,000 visitors over four days!) so, in contrast with the clean, white, bright, clinical stands all around us, we went for something altogether more colourful!
It certainly made people sit up and notice us! What do you think?
The Siam Botanicals team at Cosmoprof
Here’s our crack team of Siam Botanicals experts, who were on hand at Cosmoprof to talk to anyone and everyone about 100% natural skincare!
We were able to take a little time out to wander around the exhibition. It’s a huge event that attracts all the major names in hair, make-up and beauty and is certainly not specifically targeted to the green market. There was, however, a ‘Green Pavilion’, so we headed straight there to check out what our competitors are up to!
This will come as no surprise to many of you, but we couldn’t help but notice the amount of greenwashing going on. Products that are loudly and proudly advertised as ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ were anything but; when we pointed out a dodgy ingredient listed on a product billing itself as 100% natural, the rep said ‘well, there’s only a tiny bit of that in it’. Riiiiiight. So… 100% natural – apart from the synthetic bits!
When we asked one salesman what the ingredients were in one of his hand creams, he looked baffled and replied ‘I have no idea!!’, as if it was the craziest question he’d ever heard. Funny – I would have thought that one of the key selling points of a genuinely natural hand cream would be its ingredients…
Another product had ‘100% ORGANIC’ emblazoned across it in huge letters, and then underneath, in a tiny, almost unreadable font, ‘lavender essential oil’. When pressed as to whether the WHOLE product was organic or JUST the lavender essential oil (which would of course constitute a TINY percentage of the total ingredients), the representatives were evasive – or perhaps they have themselves been misled and didn’t know the answer).
At Siam Botanicals we don’t have a problem with companies using synthetic ingredients, or consumers choosing to use those products – IF the information about what’s in them is freely available and not masked behind a mass of misleading marketing. As we’ve discussed before, everybody has their own personal limits of acceptability, and we do not believe in scaremongering about artificial chemicals. We just wish that terms such as ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ weren’t bandied around quite as freely (and untruthfully) as they are. Still – at least it shows that the appetite for cleaner, greener products is growing, and that’s a good thing.
Anyway… I’ll get off my soapbox now!
When the working day was over, we had a bit of time to explore Bologna. It’s a lovely city, the region’s capital, with a rich history. It is home to the oldest university in Europe, founded in 1088. It also takes its food very seriously; in fact, it is considered by many to be the food capital of Italy. It’s well worth a visit if you’re planning a trip to Italy! We stayed in this lovely apartment within walking distance of the historic centre. If you’d prefer a rural, off-the-beaten-track base that’s still within reach of Bologna and the other main cities of Emilia Romagna, we can also recommend these properties in the Appennini mountains (full disclosure: they are owned by the founder of Siam Botanicals and so – added bonus – all the toiletries provided are our own!).
Siam Botanicals in Europe
The exhibition marked our first foray into the European market, and the interest in our products certainly reflected the fact that natural, clean, green skincare is rapidly becoming much more than just a ‘niche’. We hope to share more news with you soon about the availability of Siam Botanicals in Europe! Watch this space…
Were you at the show as an exhibitor or a visitor? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.
Pier 42 is our beautiful boutique hotel and spa (which uses – yes, you’ve guessed it – Siam Botanicals products!) on Phuket island. Whether you’re based in Thailand and looking for a great spot for a relaxing weekend getaway, or live further afield and are planning a holiday of a lifetime travelling around southeast Asia, our staff would love to welcome you to Pier 42. They pride themselves on their warm hospitality and the excellent service they offer to guests; they are always prepared to go the extra mile to help and advise you during your stay.
Just a five-minute walk from Chalong Pier – very convenient for divers and those wishing to take a boat trip to Phi Phi island – Pier 42 was a disused property that we renovated in keeping with our ‘green’ principles, with great care being taken to minimise our impact on the environment. Existing structures were retained and restyled with recycled hardwood floors, reclaimed doors and windows, and locally handcrafted encaustic and terracotta tiles.
The hotel’s 25 guest rooms and public areas feature restored teak wood furniture and ornaments, carvings, paintings and photography by local artists, creating an eclectic but homely style that is unique to Pier 42.
But those little luxuries we’ve come to expect have certainly not been forgotten – features such as flat-screen TVs, free wifi and iPod docking stations come as standard, and our café and lovely saltwater pool with Jacuzzi are both very popular spots.
You can even indulge in a spot of retail therapy at our Made In Siam store, which stocks clothes, ceramics, jewellery, linens, home furnishings, furniture and curios – all made in Thailand, of course.
Pier 42 is a diver-friendly hotel; in fact, situated within the resort is our Ocean Store, which has a wide selection of scuba, snorkelling and water sports equipment, with special discounts available for Pier 42 guests.
Most importantly – for the purposes of this blog, anyway! – Pier 42 also boasts a beautiful spa (did I already mention that?!), with four treatment rooms set within the hotel’s tropical garden. The treatments all use our 100% natural Siam Botanicals products, and the extensive massage menu includes our signature four-step organic facial; a body polish with peppermint and honey; a body wrap with yoghurt, banana and honey; and an aromatherapy massage with a choice of oil blends. If you enjoy your experience – and we are sure that you will – you can also buy some of our products to take home with you.
So what are you waiting for?! Book yourself in and expect to be pampered from head to toe!
Here’s what some of our guests have said about Pier 42:
“My first impression was wow! It’s got some real character – an old wooden structure made into a chic modern hotel.”
“I have lived in Thailand for 10 years and have experience of many hotels and resorts, but must say Pier 42 was probably the most unique I have been to. The decor and style of the place are amazing and it feels more like an eccentric, luxury home than a hotel.”
“The all-natural spa products promoted by the hotel are amazing – true commitment to healthy safe products and the most adorable complimentary shower kits for guests.”
“The staff were very helpful and the spa treatments and service on offer were right up there with any top international hotel spa at a much lower price.”
“The bathrooms […] come with complimentary toiletries. These were lovely – called Siam Botanicals and totally natural. They sell the products in the shop and I bought lots to take home they were so nice on my skin.”
“They have an all-natural organic spa and give you a trial-sized pack of some of their items free with your stay. I loved them and I'm VERY picky about my toiletries. No chemicals, fake fragrances or greasy stuff here! I bought some to take home […]. I had a massage and it was fantastic. Not ‘autopilot’ like most massage places Thailand. She tailored it to me and worked on my bad spots.”
“My friend and I had an aromatherapy massage and it was just bliss […]. I have had many massages and this one was one of the best.”
Sound tempting? Click here to find out more about Pier 42 and to book your stay. Our staff look forward to welcoming you!
For the third in our FOCUS series we have decided to turn our attention to the benefits of the widely used and wonderfully stimulating eucalyptus essential oil.
There are more than 700 species of eucalyptus, which are often called gum trees. Mostly native to Australia but now cultivated worldwide, they are fast-growing evergreens with distinctive flowers and fruit.
The Eucalyptus Globulus species is the main source of eucalyptus essential oil worldwide. The leaves are steam distilled to extract the oil, which has a long history of usage in both medicine and skin care for (among other things) its natural antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
It has a distinctive, fresh, woody aroma and creates a cooling, refreshing effect that can help to ‘perk you up’ and revive your spirits if you’re feeling physically or mentally sluggish. Because of its analgesic properties it is also often recommended as a massage oil to those with muscle or joint pain.
Several of our own body and massage oils contain eucalyptus oil:
In fact, eucalyptus, lavender and rosemary (key ingredients in our Relax oil, above) are a match made in fragrance heaven – which is one reason why we have used this blend in several more of our products:
The antifungal and cleansing qualities of eucalyptus oil make it equally effective for hair care, and it is one of the botanical ingredients in our Revive Shampoo and Conditioner:
Australian aboriginals have long used eucalyptus oil as a traditional remedy for colds, sinus congestion, respiratory problems and fever (in fact, one of the common names for the oil is ‘fever oil’). The first recorded instances of eucalyptus oil being used as an antiseptic during operations, and as a disinfectant to clean medical equipment, date back to the late 19th century. It is still a component in many over-the-counter cough and cold remedies, is used in cleaning products and is an active ingredient in some insect repellents, including our own:
With its strong but refreshing and instantly recognisable scent and its many useful, health-giving properties, it’s no wonder that eucalyptus oil features in such a wide range of products, from fragrance and flavouring to medicinal and dental remedies; from soaps and shampoos to massage oils and mosquito repellents.
Is this essential oil one of your favourites? How do you use it? Let us know in the comments section, below.
Essential Oils are for EXTERNAL USE ONLY and should not be applied directly to the skin in undiluted form. Use with a ceramic oil burner, or as directed by your aromatherapist. Some essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy and if you suffer from certain medical conditions; do not use them before checking with your doctor.